Uncluttered Relationships: 19 March

Sitting in Silence

An Elder said, "Do not be humble only in speech, but also be humble of mind; for without humility it is impossible to be exalted in Godly works. "

Reading: Luke 6:43-45

43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.


"Silence can be a mini-experience of death and resur­rection," says Episcopalian priest and psychologist Mor­ton Kelsey. "It is a temporary cessation of one’s doing and planning and desires. When we actually die, we give up the possessions that have mattered to us and entrust them to the care of others. Much the same thing happens when one stops in silence."

For a naturally gregarious person, silence is a gruelling discipline. Even more the case when gregarious people meet.  However, silence between friends can be a powerful moment.  I’m reminded of that song "Old Friends/Bookends":

Old friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
Newspaper blowin’ through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends

Old friends
Winter companions the old men
Lost in their overcoats
Waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy…

Old friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear
A time it was
It was a time
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you


If possible I will sit with a friend in silence. What do I learn from the friendship, and what will I miss when a time of separation comes?


Lord, help me to make my friendships more than just words.